Monday, August 31, 2015

Oath Keepers Missouri Group Splits With National Leaders Over Urban 2nd Amendment Rights

  Sam Andrews; the high-profile leader of the St. Louis area Oath Keepers group, has split with the national organization. He argues that his group wants Ferguson law-abiding citizens to keep the same respect and rights as the friends of the Bundy ranch & the citizens of Ruby Ridge, Idaho. 

  The visuals of the Ferguson protests have created a PR problem for the national leadership. Veterans and law enforcement have been very troubled by the notion that an angry black protester might be constitutionally holding a gun.

Reason magazine reports:
Stewart Rhodes; the founder and national leader of Oath Keepers, said he was "getting backlash from within the gun rights community itself, because of the erroneous perception that we are intending on arming the rioters"; he told Andrews he should "emphasize us training and organizing the peaceful, law abiding to protect themselves and stop the looting and arson themselves, not confront the cops."
"He could not take constructive criticism," Rhodes contends. "All we were doing is saying, 'Look, Sam, don't make it sound like we're gonna arm violent people who were rioters. We're gonna arm the good people of Ferguson, to stand up for their rights against the police and to control the hoods.'"
 Andrews charges Rhodes with hypocrisy, complaining that the man "was perfectly willing to 'confront the cops' at Bundy Ranch, but is unwilling to say that when it is black people arming themselves to 'confront the cops'"; he argues that Rhodes refuses to acknowledge "that St. Louis County and St. Louis City police are serial rights violators on a daily basis." Rhodes insists that he was only talking about what Andrews should emphasize, and that he would not object to armed Ferguson protesters who conduct themselves like the armed protesters at the Bundy standoff. ("At the Bundy ranch, thank God, no shots were fired," he says.) 
Local citizen greets Sam Andrews outside a Ferguson
shop, last month.
When I ask whether he thinks the St. Louis police are indeed "serial rights violators on a daily basis," he replies: "Of course they are. It's a problem across the country. Not just against black people, but against everybody. They start acting like thugs behind badges." But the chief goal of the open carry march, he believes, should be to encourage self-policing. "Whether it's fair or not, if people are looting and there's arson going on, that takes the focus away from the issue at hand, which is police abuse of power. To keep the focus on where it should be, we want the people of Ferguson themselves to make sure that they stop the looters."

David Van Risseghem
"St. Louis County and St. Louis City police are serial rights violators on a daily basis" 
- Sam Andrews
Stewart Rhodes wanted the Ferguson activities to be designed in a manner which aids the public relations goals of the national group. Rather than arming the folks assembling in redress of grievance against police abuse; Rhodes wanted Andrews to focus on guarding businesses and homes against looting. Andrews said his new group (YETI) say they will do both.
Read the full story at Reason Magazine., Facebook page
Oath Keepers

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